Women's cross country finishes second at Big East Championships
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 22:10
The No. 29 UConn women’s cross-country team competed in the Big East Championship meet last Friday, and the Huskies finished second place overall.
Coach Andrea Grove-McDonough’s squad racked up a total of 68 points, just 10 points off of eventual victor Georgetown’s total of 58 points. UConn finished ahead of three other nationally-ranked teams in Providence (No. 10), Notre Dame (No. 19), and Villanova (No. 22) in the 6-kilometer race.
Leading the pack for the Huskies was junior Allison Lasnicki, who finished fourth overall with a time of 20:52. The result marked the fourth occasion when Lasnicki finished in the Top-15 or better this season. Following Lasnicki were sophomore Lindsay Crevoiserat (6th, 20:58), junior Lauren Sara (13th, 21:21), senior Shauna McNiff (18th, 21:32), and freshman Julia Zrinyi (27th, 21:58). Lasnicki, Crevoiserat, and Sera all earned a spot on the 2012 All-Big East team thanks to their Top-15 finishes.
Coach Grove-McDonough was once again very impressed with the performance of Allison Lasnicki, who has been a rock for the Huskies all season long.
“She ran great on Friday, and it didn't surprise me one bit,” Grove-McDonough said. “She's such a tough and focused athlete, and she's found the sweet spot. Her confidence is up and she's rolling, and I'm just trying to get out of her way.”
Grove-McDonough was also quick to point out how big of a milestone the finish is in the history of both the UConn program, and her coaching career.
“It's huge. This program as far as the cross country arm of it goes was a bit of a mess [when I got here],” Grove-McDonough said. “That's why head track and field Coach Bill Morgan decided to go a different direction when he hired me. He had a lot of faith in me, and in the approach I brought to it. Originally a lot of people said that I was crazy to be as ambitious as I was about what I wanted to do with the cross-country program and in the time frame I wanted to do it. So it's gratifying to show people that nothing is impossible.”
The Huskies’ goal from the start of the season has been to qualify for the NCAA Championship, and a second place finish in the Big East will go a very long way towards helping the Huskies reach that goal.
UConn should experience a big jump up in the rankings, possibly even into the Top-10, but they will face a stout field at the Regionals, and a solid finish will be necessary if the team wants to make it to Louisville, for the NCAA Championships.
“This is a seasoned group so they understand that the Big East – while an awesome accomplishment – was just a stop along the way to the ultimate goal we've had all year,” Grove-McDonough said.